In the 16th and 17th centuries, the city of Évora was one of the most important centres of Portuguese polyphony. The gothic Cathedral of Évora was the scene of the development of the so-called ’Portuguese School’ which produced many important musicians who were also active in Spain and in the colonies of the New World. The Cathedral archive, housing numerous musical treasures, bears eloquent witness to this and Rogerio Gonçalves and A Corte Musical have now recorded a selection of sacred and secular villancicos from this source. The foundation on which the four singers present this rousing music is a colourful instrumental accompaniment consisting of Spanish harp and Spanish guitar, strings and percussion, amongst other instruments.
"A thoroughly enjoyable exploration of some ravishing and little-known repertoire from the rich collections of the equally ravishing City of Evora... Performances are exemplary - as a group, the singers blend perfectly, but have suitable character for solo coplas. The players improvise like angels, with the continuo providing dazzling rhythmic drive. Definately a must for any collection - one hopes that more of this wonderful music will be recorded soon!"
Alastair Harper - The Early Music Review (No 160) - June 2014